What makes Caitlin Murray a Global Shaker?
Caitlin Murray is the founder of Purposeful Nomad (PN), which offers ethical travel programmes for travelers seeking to connect with local communities.
Focusing on trips for women and families, PN offers destinations including India, Georgia, Iceland, and Ecuador. Each trip partners with ethical organisations “off the beaten path”: in Ecuador, visitors meet the leader of the Runa Tupari Foundation, which helps rural indigenous communities develop sustainable tourism, and a chocolate farm committed to agroforestry and biodiversity.
Similarly, the Iceland tour teams up with Crisscross, a “hyper-local, women-owned tour that specialises in off-the-beaten path adventures and farm tours,” and they partner with The School of St Jude in Tanzania, which provides free and high quality education to underserved communities. PN also works with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, run by Shannon Stowell.
Purposeful Nomad was created to inspire, challenge, and bring together individuals from around the globe because they “believe in the power of human connection to bring positive change to this world when we are given the opportunity to travel safely — anywhere.”
A bio on the website explains Murray had traveled extensively before realising that “something was seriously missing in the world of tourism, travel agents and adventure tours.”
It continues: “She saw a stark need for high quality, in-depth prorammes that explored cultures beyond the tourist facade and dove deeply into communities from every secret corner in the world. She became fixated on building a travel company that focused on active, ethical connections, education, self-care and a truly authentic experience.”
Murray also muses on why she was driven to found a Women’s Travel company. “I spent a lot of time solo traveling and was always surprised to see few women traveling on their own and even fewer women from the States out there.
“Women can be faced with greater challenges that can inhibit the freedom and confidence to travel so I wanted to create a platform that supports getting women out into the world and connecting with the greater global community.”
She says she was nervous the first time before travelling solo, but after a month, on her first trip from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, she began to enjoy not having to communicate with someone else 24/7. “I grew braver in my decision making – (yes, I will take that 36 hour bus ride) and more confident at grabbing a table for one.
“After a month by myself I felt more growth and strength than I had ever felt before. I was blazing my own damn trail and it felt incredible.”
Murray, also a photographer and activist alongside her work with PN, is based in Portland, Oregon.Tags: Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel, tourism